We are often asked what is the point of the Lakes Hospitality Association, when the tourism industry is already represented by Cumbria Tourism. There are many reasons, not least that the LHA is independent, doesn’t rely on public funds for its existence and can therefore feel free to speak out on any issue without fear of its funding being withdrawn. But the main reason is that a little bit of competition is good for the soul, it keeps people on their toes and counteracts complacency. Today we reviewed the very long list of the LHA’s achievements over the last year, and one of these was the TV advertising campaign which we undertook to try to counter the sharp decline in trade after the floods. The LHA were first off the mark with a series of TV ads, which were 20 seconds long and used professional film. The ads were designed to capitalise on “The Lakes”, which was shown in between episodes of Coronation Street. A similar, but greatly inferior TV ad from Cumbria Tourism followed ours. The CT ad was only 10 seconds long and used still photography and didn’t really hit the mark. I think it’s fair to say that if it wasn’t for our campaign there would have been a general feeling that TV advertising just isn’t viable. The underdog can often win, which is why I’m such a keen supporter of the LHA. And, at the successful, if low-key AGM, I was proud to be re-elected its Chairman.